Donald Trump appeared in court via video link to receive a warning from a judge about sharing evidence in his secret money criminal case.
It was her first court appearance — though not in person this time — since hers trial on April 5 where he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of forging business records and ordering alleged secret money payments.
The former US president, 76, was linked by video conference as prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers attended the Manhattan courthouse in person.
The sole purpose of the hearing was to secure trump he is aware of the new rules that prevent him from using evidence turned over by prosecutors to target and attack witnesses.
Judge Juan Merchan first addressed Trump, warning the former president that if he violates an order of protection established in the case he could be subject to penalties, including contempt of court.
Addressing Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche — who was seated next to the former president — Justice Merchan said, “Did you also explain that this order is a court mandate?
Mr. Blanche replied: “He understands that he must comply and if he doesn’t he would be in breach of the court order.”
“Contempt is punishable,” Justice Merchan said.
“Understood,” replied Mr. Blanche.
Mr. Merchan took the extra step of personally educating Trump about the restrictions after listing them in what’s known as a protective order on May 8.
Prosecutors sought the order soon after Trump’s arrest, citing what they say is his history of “harassing, embarrassing and threatening statements” about people with whom he has been involved in legal disputes.
In March, Trump warned of the possibility “death and destruction” if you have been indicted for making alleged secret payments a Stormy Daniel.
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The former porn actress, who said Trump’s lawyers gave her a $130,000 (£105,000) payment in 2016 in exchange for her silence about an extramarital sexual encounter a decade earlier, also said she received death threats by Trump supporters since the facts of the allegations have been made public.
The order prevents Trump from disclosing evidence to third parties or posting it on social media, and some sensitive materials shared by prosecutors are kept only by his lawyers.
Mr Merchan clarified that the order should not be interpreted as a silence order and the former president, who has a “special” status, has the right to publicly defend himself.
Trump is the first former US president to face criminal charges in court, even as he bids to recapture the White House in 2024.
His attorneys are seeking to move his criminal case to federal court.
Earlier this month Trump was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming the writer And Jean Carroll in the 90’s.
Despite consistently denying Ms Carroll’s claims, he was ordered to pay the former Elle magazine consultancy reporter $5m (£4m) in damages.
Just one day after the jury rule in New York, Trump was seen making fun of Mrs Carroll on prime time televisioncalling it a “crazy job” and stating that the judge was “biased”.